Rakuten acquires video streaming service Viki

Rakuten-VikiJapanese Internet company Rakuten known for its community-driven e-commerce platform has recently bought a video streaming site Viki, based in Singapore, Seoul, and San Francisco, stated the blogpost by Viki.

The terms of the deal has been left undisclosed by the company, but according to AllThingsD, who earlier reported about the acquisition, the deal is expected to be around USD 200 million.

Viki s a global TV site that streams TV shows, movies and other premium content, translated into more than 160 languages by a community of avid fans.

As per the blogpost on VIki Site,

“For a start-up founder, your first instinct is to build on your own. It became clear, however, that in order for Viki to truly live up to its potential, we needed to join a larger family with similar drive, passion, and the bias to disrupt. We chose Rakuten because the company shares the same values and philosophies we do: putting the community first, and building the global culture we love so much.”

As per the deal, Viki will continue to operate independently and will be working to bring more on-air content/genres to more regions of the world.

Viki was launched in 2010, till date it has streamed 2 billion videos, translated more than 400 million words and is currently aiming at expanding into Latin America and Europe. Viewers even prefer to access its content even on phone, tablet, as well as through Internet TVs, including Samsung Smart TV and Google TV.

Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO, Rakuten has stated that their foundation is not only limited to e-commerce, but they have intention to strengthen their ecosystem in Japan and worldwide and have been looking into finding a global solution for video.

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“We look at this as a hybrid of social network and a digital content distribution network that is unique and different from others … in a country-by-country approach… A multi-language video offering is one of smartest ways for us to expand,” said Hiroshi.

Rakuten previously has invested in Pinterest and has also brought in Kobo, e-book business for USD 315 million.

Viki generates revenue from in-stream advertising, subscription fees, and data. It is backed by leading venture firms like Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures and others.

Recently, Rakuten also led an investment round of USD 23 million in Slice and acquired E-Commerce Fulfillment Company Webgistix.

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